Prayer fuel: Muslims turning to Christ


July issue en - pg 11

July issue en – pg 11

Here are a handful of news-bites included in the July issue of en. Please use these articles to spur your prayers, personally or in regular prayer meetings, as we pray for persecuted Christians worldwide.

Algeria: Turning to Christ – Due to their disillusionment with the Arab Spring and the rise of violent Islam, thousands of Muslims in Algeria are requesting Bibles and becoming Christians, it was reported in May.

Iraq: Fearful – Christians in Baghdad are fearful since Islamic State (IS) militants captured the geographically strategic city of Ramadi on 17 May.

USA: Bill approved – A Bill that would ban abortions from being performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy was approved by the House of Representatives on 14 May by 242 votes to 184.

For more news and prayer fuel from around world and in the UK visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Prayer fuel: S/he baptism and ‘Yes’ to life


July issue of en - page 3

July issue of en – page 3

Here are a handful of news-bites included in the July issue of en. Please use these articles to spur your prayers, personally or in regular prayer meetings, as we pray for our country.

S/he baptism – The CofE has been asked to debate plans for a ceremony akin to a baptism to mark the new identities of Christians who undergo gender transition, it was reported in late May.

Lib Dem: no freedoms – Tim Farron MP, favourite to succeed Nick Clegg as the Liberal Democrat Party leader, called in May for a disestablishment of the Church of England.

Scotland: Yes to life – MSPs voted, on 27 May, comprehensively to reject a Bill which would have legalised assisted suicide in Scotland.

For more news and prayer fuel from around world and in the UK visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Editors commentary: Football, integrity and church


FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter finally resigned.football-2WEB

The dominant news story as May turned into June was that officials of the governing body for world football were facing investigations of bribery and vote fixing. Both the US FBI and the Swiss authorities are looking into the matter.

This adds to the sorry list of recent scandals that say so much about our society. We have had greedy bankers wrecking Western economies, MPs fiddling their expenses, journalists hacking phones, policemen involved in racism and cover-ups, household name broadcasters convicted of historic sexual abuse and parts of the NHS mistreating the elderly. The church is not exempt. The Methodists recently ‘fessed up’ to the mistreatment of minors among them. And yet we are too ‘grown up’ and self-confident as a society to see any need for God or his grace.

Democracy

Were votes bought in the contests to hold the 2018 and 2022 world cup finals? FIFA, like most Western institutions, is meant to be a democratic organisation. But, good though it is, democracy can be…(to read more click here)

This article was first published in the July 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to en or visit our website www.e-n.org.uk.

The power of love in local church evangelism (July issue highlights)


Coming up in the July issue of Evangelicals Now…

Front cover of en July issue

Front cover of en July issue

• Christian wins discrimination case

• Mez McConnell reflects on the power of love in local church evangelism

• How to pep-up your preaching!

The July issue is out now! Read it online or enjoy the printed paper with your morning cuppa!

You may subscribe to have regular access every month to all of the articles for the ridiculously cheap price of £0.84 a month – £10.00 per year!

The single track by Jacqui Wright: Sex, love and singles


photo: iStock

photo: iStock

How do we rightly think about sex and love from a biblical perspective?

We need to start by understanding God’s covenantal love for us in Christ; that is his promise of unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness in Christ. From this unimaginable gift of grace we worship, love, trust and obey him first and foremost. He is the ultimate bridegroom and the one who satisfies all our deepest needs.

Ultimate unveiling

God has created sex and love as good gifts for us to enjoy in their rightful place in our lives. This is part of the pattern of covenantal love which is unselfish and promises commitment to the other in spite of feelings. Sex within a covenantal legally binding marriage relationship is the ultimate unveiling of oneself and selfless sacrificial giving which reflects the commitment to the other in all aspects of life. Sex in marriage is within a zone of safety and due to its committed nature, grows ever deeper. In contrast, our secular society operates on a … (to read more click here)

Jacqui Wright is a single Christian, and single parent of five kids for the past 16 years. She was married to a pastor which ended in an unwilling divorce. She is an independent Speech and Language therapist with practices in Bedford and on Harley Street, London. She is the chair of Bedford Christian Singles friendship and fellowship group.

This article was first published in the March 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Speaking up (book review)


PRAYERPrayer
Experiencing awe and intimacy with God
By Timothy Keller
Hodder & Stoughton. 321 pages. £16.99
ISBN 978 1 444 750 157

This excellent book is for the ordinary reading Christian.

It is excellent, firstly because it is comprehensive. Unlike nearly all the other works on prayer, it is theological and experiential and methodological. Keller freely acknowledges that many writers have done better than he on different aspects of the subject, but we all need an up-to-date book that covers all the ground.

Secondly he deals fascinatingly and satisfyingly with the balance or tension between the mystical/emotional and the intellectual in prayer. Quite a bit of time is spent examining different approaches and evaluating them. Contrary to what some anti-Keller websites have suggested, he is not a mystic in the sense of undervaluing the mind and the place of the word of God in prayer. He comes out more or less where John Owen, John Murray and J. I. Packer do: ‘wordless prayer is not the pinnacle… but the periodic punctuation of verbal prayer’ (Packer with Nystrom).

Thirdly he links praying with listening to God as he speaks in his Word, and gives useful advice. Prayer is ‘fellowship with the personal God who befriends us through speech’. In this connection he gives plenty of advice on how to meditate on the Word, some of it drawn from Martin Luther’s great little letter to his barber on prayer. It’s in the same vein as George Mueller’s famed advice on integrating Bible reading and prayer.

Deeper encounter

He also distinguishes helpfully between prayer as fellowship with God and prayer as … (to read more click here)

Chris Bennett,
pastor of Wilton Community Church, N. London,
and lecturer in Preaching and New Testament  at London Theological Seminary

This article was first published in the March 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe to en for regular updates.

Rejoice in the Lord


Paul Mallard tells us how to avoid making our ministry into an idol

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the glorious honour of preaching Christ.

Indeed, preachers should worry if they don’t enjoy it. However, they must never allow it to take the place of Christ.

A few decades ago my wife became seriously ill with a neurological condition, which could have resulted in the end of public ministry for both of us.1 I remember having to face this as a very real possibility. Amidst the tempest of painful and confusing thoughts that roared through my mind at the time, one of the greatest challenges was the realisation that I might never preach again.

It felt like a bereavement.

The Lord challenged me about my love for him. What was first in my affection? What did I love more: the proclamation of Christ or the Christ I proclaimed? I knew the right answer. I also knew my own heart. After a fierce battle, I remember sitting on a bench and then getting down onto my knees and praying something like this: ‘OK, Lord, I surrender. I want to love you more than my ministry. If you are going to take it from me, then I accept your will. Help me to delight in Jesus.

My ministry did not end. In fact, my wife and I discovered that we were able to minister out of the pain that we felt. And that’s another story. But the battle to keep Christ central has never gone away. It is a daily battle. Something in my heart always wants to replace the love of Jesus with the love of the things that I do for him.

What is the secret of victory?

It is to be utterly

(to read more click here)

This article is an edited extract from Staying Fresh: Serving with Joy by Paul Mallard, recently published by IVP and is used with permission.

This article was first published in the March issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.